George Church

Co-Founder, SAB Chairman

Founding Core Faculty Member, Synthetic Biology Platform Lead, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University

Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School

Professor of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard and MIT

Dr. Church leads the Synthetic Biology Platform, where he oversees the directed evolution of molecules, polymers, and whole genomes to create new tools with applications in regenerative medicine and bioenergy. Among his recent work at the Wyss is development of a technology for synthesizing whole genes, and potentially whole gene circuits, that is faster, more accurate, and significantly less expensive than current methods. George is widely recognized for his innovative contributions to genomic science and his many pioneering contributions to chemistry and biomedicine. In 1984, he developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, which resulted in the first commercial genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori). He helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005. George invented the broadly applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. His many innovations have been the basis for a number of companies including Joule Unlimited, Inc. (solar fuels); LS9, Inc. (bio-petroleum); and Knome (full human genome sequencing).

George is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Center on Bioenergy at Harvard and MIT and Director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science at Harvard. He has received numerous awards including the 2011 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute, the 2009 Promega Biotechnology Research Award from the American Society for Microbiology, and the number four spot on the 2008 list of The Scientist's top ten innovations.